DOL Overtime Expansion: Millions of Workers Affected

The Department of Labor (DOL) has expanded overtime protections, impacting millions of workers nationwide. This change directly affects workers in New Jersey, many of whom are unaware of their rights. Understanding these new rules is crucial for anyone subject to non-compete agreements or unsure about their eligibility for overtime pay.

What You Need to Know About the DOL Overtime Expansion?

Under the new DOL regulations, more workers qualify for overtime pay. Starting July 1, 2024, the threshold has now increased to $43,888. On Jan. 1, 2025, this threshold will increase to $58,656. If you earn less than this annual amount, you must receive overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week.

Employers must comply with these guidelines or face legal consequences. If your employer fails to pay you properly, you have the right to take legal action. Many workers are unaware of these changes, leading to potential exploitation.

Employers sometimes misclassify workers to avoid paying overtime. If you are classified as an “independent contractor” or a “manager,” but your duties do not match these titles, you might be entitled to overtime pay. Misclassification is illegal, and you have the right to challenge it.

Documenting your work hours is essential. Keep a detailed record of the hours you work each week. This evidence is crucial if you need to file a complaint or lawsuit against your employer.

What Are Some Examples of Overtime Violations?

  • Unpaid Overtime Hours: Jane works as an administrative assistant and regularly puts in extra hours beyond the standard 40-hour workweek. Even though she logs her hours meticulously, her employer only pays her for 40 hours, disregarding the additional time she has worked. This is a clear violation of overtime regulations, and Jane is entitled to compensation for her unpaid overtime.
  • Misclassification of Employees: John is designated as a “manager” by his employer to avoid paying him overtime. However, his job responsibilities are identical to those of his non-managerial colleagues who receive overtime pay. By misclassifying John, his employer is violating overtime laws, and John may be eligible for back pay.
  • Off-the-Clock Work: Maria works in retail and is often required to perform tasks before her shift officially starts and after it ends, such as opening the store and closing it down. Her employer does not compensate her for this extra time, which is a violation of overtime rules. Maria should be paid for all hours worked, including pre-and post-shift duties.
  • Failure to Adjust for the New Threshold: Mike’s salary is $45,000 per year. With the new threshold set at $58,656 starting Jan. 1, 2025, he becomes eligible for overtime pay. His employer, however, does not adjust his pay structure to account for the new regulations. This failure to comply leaves Mike underpaid for his overtime work.
  • Comp Time Instead of Overtime Pay: Susan works eligible overtime hours and is given “comp time” (compensatory time off) instead of receiving overtime pay. While comp time might be convenient, it does not replace the legal requirement to pay overtime wages for hours worked over the standard 40-hour week. Susan should be compensated financially for her overtime hours.

How Can You Protect Your Rights?

First, educate yourself about your rights under the DOL’s new overtime rules. Knowing the details can prevent you from being taken advantage of by your employer. Visit the DOL website or seek information from reliable sources.

Second, communicate with your employer. If you believe you are entitled to overtime pay, discuss it with your supervisor or human resources department. Approach this conversation with confidence, armed with knowledge about the new regulations.

Third, take action if necessary. If your employer refuses to comply, you may need to file a complaint with the DOL or pursue legal action.

The South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Can Help You Understand Your Rights

The DOL’s expansion of overtime rules represents a significant shift in workers’ rights. It is essential for employees in New Jersey to understand these changes and take appropriate steps to ensure they receive fair compensation. If you have questions or need legal assistance, speak with the South Jersey employment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC today. Contact us at 856-235-7075 or use our online contact form to schedule your free consultation and learn more about the support and service we can provide. With offices in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.